The daily prompt from NaPoWriMo2019 asks us to take a reference book and choose words from two pages in front of you and go from there. I mixed this up a bit, since it is a bit like an exercise I do in Word Alchemy that I call “Word Salad.” But I choose up to six words that pop up at random and then go about trying to make a connection. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it’s a stretch. Sometimes it’s hilarious. For the purposes of today’s NaPowriMo2019 exercise in poetry writing I left the OED on the shelf and picked up the Chamber’s Dictionary of Etymology, which always makes for fascinating reading. The random words I picked out were spike, exemplary, protest, detest, nomad. They are all in there in some form of their etymological definition.
This was great fun! Who doesn’t love a lexicon?! I’ve loved the word ever since I found it in an Emily Dickonson poem age 11.
Lexical Slaw Word Alchemy
So many versions of how
to know the word universe
in the mind of God
in just about any language
which may be somewhat helpful
to the venturing nomad
searching and incurring
on new pasture
yet even words can splinter
language deflecting into dialect
so dense the origins
get swallowed whole
but something sticks in the throat
like a vow to dissent
that then regurgitates
like a solemn curse
Source document as reference
is public testimony for all to see.
Yet time will free the redactions
of agreed meaning, as necessity
or adventure into word alchemy.
Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.